In the modern world, we all use the internet in one way or another. Whether you’re checking your emails, using social media, shopping online or reading the news, it’s important to understand how to stay safe on the internet. Most importantly, it’s worth knowing that whatever you’re doing online, your personal data is being shared.
Personal data is really valuable, which also means that it’s often sought after by hackers, leaked, or misused. Fortunately, there are certain steps you can take to protect your information online and keep your personal data safe.
We’ve listed a few tips below that can really help you protect yourself on the web, as well as some information on how to learn about, request, and even delete information that companies hold about you. Managing your data online is a lot easier that you think, and Rightly can help make data privacy effortless, for free.
Tips to protect your personal data online
Here are some tips that can really help improve your data privacy online. Think of them as useful first steps in better protecting your personal information.
1. Vary your passwords. Make sure your passwords for different sites are all strong and unique. If they’re all the same and a hacker gains access to just one, they’ll be able to access all your accounts too. Strong passwords should have a mixture of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and symbols.
2. Cover your webcam. It might sound far-fetched, but hackers can gain access to victims’ webcams surprisingly easily, and can even turn off the webcam light so you might not realise it’s on.
3. Keep your software up-to-date. Software updates can help fix problems and vulnerabilities, meaning hackers can’t exploit them. Keeping your software updated helps keep you safe.
4. Install an antivirus software. A good antivirus software can help warn you if a link is suspicious, or stop you from downloading risky files.
5. Use a VPN. You can take software protection a step further by investing in a good VPN. Virtual private networks, or VPNs, can hide your internet usage from hackers when you’re browsing online.
6. Avoid using public WiFi. Public WiFi might be free, but can often be vulnerable to hackers. A hacker could even make a hotspot pretending to be a WiFi service, then steal your data.
7.Turn off ad tracking. You can prevent companies from following you online by turning off ad tracking. You can do this with software like AdBlock, or by disabling cookies in your browser.
8. Be wary of phishing emails or calls. Hackers sometimes contact users over phone, text, or email, trying to steal your information. If a message creates a sense of urgency or if someone is asking for your personal information, stop and get in contact with the company through their customer service site.
9. Limit what you share on social media. People can sometimes reveal the answers to their security questions over social media, such as the name of their cat, the street they grew up on, or their mother’s maiden name.
10. Understand your rights. Bear in mind that by GDPR law you can request, access, and delete personal data that a company holds about you. You have the right to send a subject access request (SAR) to view, edit, or erase personal information, and you can do this through Rightly.
A final step in protecting yourself online is managing your personal data over the internet. This means finding out who collects it, what information they store, and knowing what you can do about it. Luckily, Rightly can help. Through our service, you can submit a request (called a ‘subject access request’) to any site you like, and ask to view, edit, or delete data for free.
This article is a sponsored collaboration with Rightly